Natural on the rise in China hair care market? Mintel says so…

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Natural on the rise in China hair care market? Mintel says so…
According to the latest Mintel research, eight in ten urban Chinese consumers say they prefer to buy all-natural hair care products with one in ten saying this is the most important purchasing influence.

The market researcher claims this is down to consumers becoming more cautious when it comes to product choice, due to toxic and carcinogenic findings regarding certain chemical ingredients.

Natural trend

In 2011, almost 64 per cent of new hair care products released in China touted a ‘natural’ claim, while in the global market, products with the same claim accounted for half of launch activity.

“The heightened level of awareness that has arisen from several high-profile safety scares in recent years has taken its’ toll on the rate of product development in several hair care categories, but hair colorants and styling agents were hit especially hard,”​ explains Jiang Xinyi, research analyst at Mintel.

This has led to an increase in all-natural products, and now that China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine requires the cosmetics industry to adopt a practice of full ingredient labeling, China is becoming more in line with international practice.

This, in turn, gives greater product transparency to consumers as well as ensuring safety.

Health concerns also trending

According to Mintel, in addition to all-natural products and increased transparency, an opportunity to boost sales and usage may come in the form of products that specifically address scalp problems and concerns.

The market analyst finds that almost six in ten urban Chinese consumers say they suffer from dandruff, while 45 per cent complain of greasy hair or scalp.

Meanwhile, 43 per cent are plagued by an itchy scalp and a quarter has issues with dry hair or scalp. Mintel says that product development backs up this trend, as an “anti-dandruff” claim appeared on nearly a quarter of new hair care products launched in China in 2011.

“Hair care products have shifted their emphasis from treating hair appearance and condition to scalp health,”​ continues Jiang Xinyi.

“Taking the place of shine, health remains a key priority in 2011 within the China hair care market. In the shampoo, conditioner and hair treatments segments, many of the big brands are already targeting scalp care, and their research and development departments continue to design products that are especially formulated to promote scalp health.”

Speaking of hair care

Green formulation, hair colouring and dyes, and hair density will all be topics of the editorial webinars at the upcoming HairCare Ingredients 2012 – the industry’s first virtual hair care event taking place on September 19th​ 2012.

To register and find out more, click here

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